Dehradun: Opposition BJP snatched an early lead over ruling Congress in Uttarakhand relegating the ruling Congress to the second spot in all the five seats at the end of the initial rounds of counting.
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Former BJP chief ministers B C Khanduri, Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank and Bhagat Singh Koshiyari were all leading over their nearest Congress rivals from Pauri, Haridwar and Nainital constituencies.
BJP's Mala Yajya Laxmi Shah and Ajay Tamta were also leading over their Congress rivals Saket Bahuguna and Pradeep Tamta respectively in Tehri and Almora seats in the initial rounds. Khanduri is leading over his nearest rival Harak Singh Rawat of Congress by 20,727 votes in Pauri at the end of the fourth round of counting, Chief Election Officer Radha Raturi said.
Koshiyari is leading by nearly 32,530 votes over his nearest Congress rival K C Singh Baba in Nainital constituency at the end of the 4th round of counting, she said. BJP's sitting MP and erstwhile Tehri royal Mala Rajya Laxmi Shah is leading over Saket Bahuguna by 5,305 votes at the end of the third round of counting while former BJP chief minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank was leading by nearly 5,170 votes over his nearest rival Renuka Rawat of the Congress in Haridwar at the end of first round. Renuka is chief minister Harish Rawat's wife.
BJP's Ajay Tamta is leading over Congress' Pradeep Tamta by 11,687 votes at the end of the fourth round of counting. Congress had won all the seats in 2009 general elections. However, it had lost Tehri to BJP in a bypoll to the seat in October 2012 when erstwhile Tehri royal Mala Rajya Laxmi Shah defeated former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna's son Saket, a first timer, by over 20,000 votes.